By Chris Wright
With a nod to Wayne Rooney indulging in the time-honoured practice of having a cheeky dig via his goal celebration at Old Trafford yesterday, we thought we’d have a timely butcher’s at some others who have done likewise over the years…
1. Craig Bellamy
February 2007, and with a Champions League tie against Barcelona imminent, Liverpool’s preparations were slightly hampered after news broke in the tabloids that Bellamy had assaulted teammate John Arne Riise with a golf club in his hotel room while the team were limbering up at a training camp in the Algarve.
Bellamy scored in the Camp Nou and chose to reference the tittle-tattle by demonstrating his swing, later admitting in his autobiography that he only “thwacked” Riise across the backside with his eight iron after a drunken row about karaoke.
2. Emmanuel Adebayor
Having left Arsenal for Man City in 2009 under something of a cloud following a prolonged spell of half-arsedness, Adebayor – fate being as it is – scored against his former club on their next visit to the Eithad.
In a display of weapon’s grade shithousery, Adebayor sprinted the entire length of the field to goad the heckling Arsenal fans with a defiant knee-slide, only to get pelted with detritus (who smuggled that little plastic stool in?) and almost start a riot in the away section.
3. Carlos Tevez
After being extradited by Man City for refusing to warm up during a Champions League tie against Bayern Munich in 2011, Tevez threw a tantrum and duly spent six months on paid leave, flitting around the golf courses of Buenos Aires before finally returning to City as and when he felt like it (despite boss Roberto Mancini publicly stating not once but twice that the striker would never play for the club again).
Of course, he then scored a hat-trick in his first full game back against Norwich and promptly set about demonstrating just how many flying f**ks he gave about the grief he’d caused by rubbing it all in with a “golf swing” celebration.
4. Paul Gascoigne
The culmination of the 78th minute of England’s 2-0 victory over Scotland at Euro ’96 is a seminal tableau that has come to define Paul Gascoigne’s entire career, nay life.
After bamboozling Colin Hendry’s granite jaw and fearsome blonde feather cut to score that goal at Wembley, Gazza re-enacted an infamous scene from the England squad’s recent boozy trip to Hong Kong which had caused a pre-tournament feeding frenzy in the papers: the dentist’s chair.
5. David Meyler
The very week after David Meyler found himself on the wrong end of a little “forehead shunt” from then-Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, the Hull City midfielder had the good fortune to score against Sunderland in the sixth round of the FA Cup.
Of course he celebrated by head-butting a flag. Wouldn’t you?
6. Samuel Eto’o
Responding to his manager Jose Mourinho’s off-hand jibe that he had no idea how old the veteran Cameroon striker actually was, Eto’o celebrated his goal against Tottenham with a timely “old man” charade, holding his hip and shuffling over to the corner flag for a nice rest.
7. Jimmy Bullard
Having tucked away a penalty against Man City, the clown prince of the Premier League famously mimicked Hull City boss Phil Brown’s po-faced, middle-management-y attempt to inspire his side by bollocking them on the pitch at half-time against City the previous season.
8. Robbie Fowler
After scoring twice in the Merseyside derby in 1999, Fowler sprinted over to the white byline and proceeded to hoover it up Stevie Nicks-style in response to Everton fans claiming he was dilly-dallying with Colombian marching powder at the time.
Despite Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier’s insistence that Fowler was merely simulating “eating grass”, the striker was fined £32,000 by the FA and slapped with a four-game ban.
9. Luis Suarez
Another Merseyside derby entrant. Riled up by Everton boss David Moyes’ pre-game assertion that he had a penchant for diving (nothing could be further from the truth!), Luis Suarez responded by scoring and then celebrating with his usual level of grace and decorum – launching into a very deliberate swan-dive directly in front of Moyes’ technical area.
To be fair to Moyes, he took it with good grace, telling the Beeb after the match: “I thought it was great. I actually quite liked that and it’s the sort of thing I’d have done if I’d have scored.”
10. Jurgen Klinsmann
Having arrived at Tottenham with a well-deserved reputation for…shall we say, “making a meal of things”, Klinsmann poked fun at his notoriety after scoring against Sheffield Wednesday on his debut.
The German poacher launched into a joyous head-long dive in front of the Spurs fans, thus inspiring a generation of impressionable young lads to follow suit on school pitches and muddy parks the length and breadth of the land.
Any further shouts? Feel free to let us know…